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Amadeus Symphony in Winningen

May 2017. Cruised, starting from Arnhem, on the M/S Amadeus Symphony. Not quite the Holiday we thought it was going to be. A bad start. We were supposed to be picked up at 06.00. Had to be at Folkestone by 08.45, a journey of up to 2 hours on a baddish day so fair enough. However, our driver had 04.00 as our pick up! Left home at 05.00 and arrived at Folkestone at 06.30. Sister Ann and brother in law Michael arrived even earlier and were, in fact, woken up by the driver ringing their bell. Not the start any of us wanted, especially as we weren't to arrive at the boat until after 6 pm (local time).

Of course there were high spots. We went in for the three general knowledge quizzes they had and won three boxes of chocolates (only one prize given per quiz you understand!). The other two we teamed up with were John, from Blockley in Worcestershire, and Rachel from Battle in Sussex.

The weather here took a turn for the better and we suddenly found out what a problem shutting the sun deck (because of the low bridges) was.
Spent the night docked in Bernkastel and a local troupe (The Michael Fischer Group) entertained us. Very jolly, German folk songs etc. One of the group (a lady) played a barrel organ. I didn't know there was so much involved (I thought you just turned a handle!), excellent.
By this time we were well aware what the sights would be as we sailed. Vines and caravans! An astonishing amount of both. Every bit of hillside seems to be taken up by vines and every spare piece of riverside seems to be taken up by caravans.
Back on the Rhine and among the Castles! A particularly attractive one we passed was Marksburg, built in 1100 it is one of the few NOT destroyed by the French and since 1931 has been used as the headquarters of the German Castle Association.

Marksburg Castle (through the glass of the cabin window)

There is a stunning photo of the Castle on Wikipedia
With the grotty weather and the lack of quiet places to read we were in the cabin when there was lightning and thunder and torrential rain. Good thing we were as I suddenly noticed dripping water coming through the ceiling (about a foot from my bed). Went to reception and they sent a man who removed ceiling tiles and revealed lots of soaking wet foam rubber and foil. Anyway, with help, it didn't take him too long to fix it so no real harm done. Edna notes in her Journal that this is one holiday she won't be sorry to get home from because of the many minor irritations.
Overnight in Oberwesel and the Michael Fischer Group came aboard to entertain us again. Didn't play many things that we knew so did not enjoy it as much as the first time (and no barrel organ!).
Just before we arrived in Andernach we passed Koblenz again and managed to get (through the window from the cabin) pictures of St. Kastor's Basilica and the monument to Wilhelm I (again!).

After leaving Andernach we passed Cologne (sadly not stopping) so managed to get a couple of pictures of the Cathedral through the cabin window.

UTRECHT: Although the brochure said that we could "Roam Utrecht's historic centre" we moored outside of the City for what the Cruise Director told us was "A technical stop". No time to see anything.


Copyright © 2004 - 2017 Terry Smith

Grand Cruise of the Rhine, Moselle and Main 2017